With the addition of the Coordinated Intake and Referral Project, Healthy Start adds a new staff member to manage it and promotes another.
The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County has experienced many changes over the last year as we adjust to a new system of care that will better serve families in Sarasota County.
With the addition of the new Coordinated Intake and Referral Program and recent staffing changes, we needed some additional support.
After a rigorous interview
Ryan Belak added as Project Manager
As the new Coordinated Intake and Referral Project Manager, Ryan will oversee and coordinate the new Coordinated Intake and Referral Team. The Team processes Healthy Start Risk Screens and community referrals received through the Well Family System.
They also reach out to pregnant women and infants identified through the screening process and provide education and referrals to needed community resources such as parenting skills and support.
Ryan has been working in the nonprofit sector since 2008, when she started as a Family Development specialist, serving children and families in Head Start programs in New York.
“Working with children and families in the direct service field has always been my passion,” says new staff member Ryan Belak.
Before moving to Florida, Ryan was the Special Projects Coordinator at the Early Care and Learning Council (ECLC) in Albany, New York. She was responsible for providing support for the community engagement needs of ECLC and the network of 35 Child Care Resource and Referral agencies throughout New York State.
Ryan worked hard to ensure the network collaborated and engaged the community to ensure a high-quality child care system was accessible to all children and families throughout New York. She recently moved to the Sarasota area with her husband and two young sons.
Olesen promoted to Associate Executive Director
Sara Olesen joined the Healthy Start Coalition last year and has quickly proven herself an asset to the team. As Associate Executive Director, Sara will take over many of the local issues from Executive Director, Shon Ewens, as Shon’s role with the state expands.
“It was a natural progression,” Shon explains. “The new system of care will inevitably have some bumps, but I have every confidence that my team will make sure our community’s families continue to receive the services and support they need.”
Sara adds, “I am honored to be a part of Healthy Start and find it humbling to be a part of improving the health and birth outcomes for our pregnant women and families.”
Ryan will work closely with Sara Olesen in her new role, assisting with her transition into the community and with Healthy Start’s partners. They will be training the community on the new Healthy Start System of Care to ensure the highest risk moms and babies get the essential services they need.